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Is it Selfish to Wear Baby at Gatherings?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Hi Mamas,


My little one is 7 months old and loves to be worn. Our two favorite carriers are the Ergo and the Bjorn and she'll hang out in either for hours. I love babywearing too and am rarely happier than when we're out and about snuggling. I never thought anyone could ever take issue with babywearing until this past holiday season when our family attended several parties and gatherings. Many of these get-togethers weren't in baby friendly environments (hardwood floors, breakable knickknacks, etc.) and not wanting to wear out my arms, I just strapped a carrier on over my party clothes, popped baby in and enjoyed the event. Later on, my husband told me that several people, mostly relatives viewed my behavior as selfish. Shocked, I asked him how so and he said they thought by having DD in a carrier I was discouraging others from interacting with and/or holding her. Since we don't see our relatives that often, I guess a few people were really miffed that they didn't get the interaction they were hoping for.


Now, I'm torn. Part of me feels badly that some people felt this way. I was only trying to keep DD safe and comfortable and in no way meant to "hog" her. On the other hand, no one asked me to hold her or take her out of the carrier so how was I to know? I guess my question is what do you ladies do in similar circumstances? Do you wear your little ones to family gatherings? Have you ever been accused of being "selfish" for doing so? Any ideas for future events?


Thanks so much!

post #2 of 39

I'm sorry you're feeling bad about it. You shouldn't. I've never experienced what you have, but the opposite actually when I was purposly hiding my son in his Moby (at home) when a friends overbearing gf came to visit. She just didn't get it that he and I wanted "alone" time in his Moby. You shouldn't feel guilty. You were only trying to save your arms from getting tired and not make others feel that they had to hold the baby all the time while you enjoyed the party. If someone wanted to hold they could have asked you. Did anyone seem interested in holding her? I guess you could have offered and asked if they wanted to,but you know to ask next time I guess and see what they say,but where your daughter again if you want and try not to worry about it. 





post #3 of 39

Do not feel guilty or selfish. One of the great things about babywearing is that your baby gets to be at the same level as adults to interact if she wants to while other people cannot just take her from you. Some babies do like to be held by many people but most babies get cared and upset quite quickly when a bunch of people want to pass them around. If your relatives cannot be bothered to ask your permission before holding or touching your baby and/or cannot take no for an answer, then they are the selfish people.

post #4 of 39

No, I don't think you were selfish.  If someone wanted to hold the baby, they should have spoken up.  Goodness knows there were times when I would have liked a break from holding the baby but didn't want to impose.


I wore DD at all gatherings until she started showing the urge to run around... around 1 year or so.  Now it's at her inclination.  Occasionally I did get a few kooky extended relatives making some snide comments about, "Oh she's in that thing again...." but I just ignored those people.  And now, everyone seems pretty used to it.  At Christmas, she fell asleep in my sling and one relative said, "Oh that looks so nice and comfortable for you both."

post #5 of 39

My mom has done that too. She tells me, after the fact, that I was keeping the baby all to myself and not sharing but yet she never asks. You're not being selfish, you're doing what is best for you and the baby. She also tells me how my babies manipulate me because I pick them up when they cry and I need to give formula in bottles when out because my breastfeeding (even under a cover) is making others uncomfortable (I've asked, she's the only one who is uncomfortable). She didn't even talk to me for two weeks after our third was born because I didn't call her at 3am to tell her I was in labor so she could come out and 'help' so I take her comments with a grain of salt. 

post #6 of 39

Even if you weren't using a carrier and/or you were deliberately trying to "hog" her to yourself, you still shouldn't feel guilty. It's your baby, not some toy you're supposed to share. They're not entitled to hold her at all if you don't want them to.

post #7 of 39
Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

Even if you weren't using a carrier and/or you were deliberately trying to "hog" her to yourself, you still shouldn't feel guilty. It's your baby, not some toy you're supposed to share. They're not entitled to hold her at all if you don't want them to.

I agree 100% with this, and if they wanted to hold her they should have asked you! My DD is 2 so I don't wear her to family events often (she almost immediately wants to get down and have her grandparents and aunts play with her, not boring Mom and Dad LOL), but I still bring a wrap with me everywhere and if she needs to go up, she does :)

post #8 of 39

Translation: "If you didn't have her strapped to you, I could've just grabbed her out of your arms without asking."


Tell your dh that if they really wanted time with your dd they would've asked you instead of whining to him like little kids who want a turn with Johnny's truck.

post #9 of 39

When I asked relatives if I could hold their babies, I even told them that when I had a baby I was going to be selfish and not let other people hold him/her as much as they let me hold their babies.


Still never had anyone be anything but grateful that they got any time.


Your In-Laws need to Grow Up.

post #10 of 39

No it is not selfish.

It is healthier for baby, as baby is not handled by people with illness.

Playing pass the baby might feel nice to adults IMO it disrespects baby.

post #11 of 39

When my son was an infant I wore him at family events on purpose so people couldn't hold him.  He's not a football or a conversation piece.  He's my kid.  *Shrug.*

post #12 of 39

It's your baby; your in-laws seem immature. They should be able to ask if they can hold your baby (and they should ask). They shouldn't be going behind your back calling your 'behavior' names.


This is all my opinion of course.

post #13 of 39

i have used carriers/slings a lot when i did want to avoid tons of people holding my babies...i think they're invaluable for that purpose! even though you weren't doing that you definitely should NOT feel bad for other people's failure to communicate! :)

post #14 of 39

I would be furious w/ my dh, I'll tell you that.  You are being a fantastic mother, he's got relatives crabbing about you behind your back, and he actually tells you this, but too late for you to do anything about it?  He should have stood up for you at the time!  


My honest opinion is that if relatives ask nicely to hold the baby and there's no good reason not to let them, in general, you should, at least for a minute.  That includes taking baby out of the carrier.  (Good reasons not to let them include baby is sleeping, the person isn't trustworthy, there is sickness going around, baby in a stranger-anxiety phase, or anything else you decide.)  But if no one asks, DUH!  You can't read minds!  

post #15 of 39

It isn't selfish, it isn't fun if your arms get tired, or your child gets overwhelmed.  It helps keep a safe a health distance for your child (*read germs/unwanted kisses/etc), while still letting them engage and interact with the event.  7 months old is such a tricky age, not specifically sitting with reliability (in some cases), or crawling, or walking, or playing independently.  If someone wants to hold the baby, just ask.  We usually just say that the baby/child is in the carrier to have a quiet moment to get used to the party, so we can enjoy it longer.  We have been fortunate that people are understanding, and they are grateful that we don't have screaming kids at their party:)

post #16 of 39

You're meeting your daughter's needs and respecting others' things.  That is not selfish.  I'm sure these people who didn't have the nerve to ask to play with your baby or criticise you to your face are the same ones who would throw a fit about your "bad parenting" if your daughter touched one of their precious breakables.  You can't win with some people, so the heck with 'em.  Just keep listening to your baby and giving her what she needs.

post #17 of 39

Absolutely not selfish.


You are doing what's best for your baby: keeping her safe from potential problems in a (presumably) un-childproofed house, keeping her comforted in a strange environment, and preventing her from being exposed to who knows what kind of germs all over the many people at the party who would've probably gotten her sick.  She's a baby, a person you as a mother are to keep safe and healthy, not a designer bag to be admired at social gatherings.

post #18 of 39

I have been accused of it....but in fairness to them I WAS mentally aware of what I was doing and I was doing it on purpose. There are times I don't feel a sleeping baby should be passed around or if its people I'm not comfortable with... I don't want them holding my child. I don't babywear BECAUSE of this, I love BWing! But this is a major perk for me :D

post #19 of 39

Grrr... I had several people in our church small group repeatedly try to snatch my under-one-year-old out of my arms, when it was clear she didn't want to be snatched.  They acted like I was being overprotective and clingy, even though I could tell by the look on her face that she didn't want to leave me and that she was going to lose it.  I had to *start* babywearing her, even though she'd rather be a little more free.  So, as others have said, even if you *were* doing it to be selfish and spend more time with her, they need to grow the heck up.  You're the mama.  It's your call.  Also, they should have talked to *you* if they had a problem, not complained to your husband about it.  That's just not fair to anyone, your husband included.

post #20 of 39

I used sling almost exclusively for both of my children regardless of where we were or who we were with. I have one particular memory that stands out sort of relating to your post.


One of my parents asked to hold my daughter, I agreed and attempted to pass her over when she cried and arched and was clearly not wanting to be with anyone other than me, I took her back and was criticized for "doing this" to my daughter. I was hurt but felt righteous in my decision to babywear and follow her lead.


One year later this parent died of cancer, and I can't help but continually feel saddened that my daughter did not have a chance to know him...

Sometimes our best intentions are just that, best intentions. Not a wrong or right way, just what is. I got to provide what I felt was best for my child in the moment, and I also feel remorse. Had I of known what was to come, I still would not have handed my daughter over in that moment, but rather tried to create special moments for bonding in ways that nurtured all of us.


Maybe your in-laws just need to know that they are loved and appreciated? We all have moments of weakness when we do or say things that are not in our highest truth.



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